Publisher: Faber & Faber Childrens Books
Publication Date: February 2nd 2016
My rating: 4 stars
"Tell me that and we'll go. Right now. Save ourselves and leave this place to burn. Tell me that's how you want your story to go and we'll write it straight across the sand." Dustwalk is an unforgiving, dead-end town. It's not the place to be poor or orphaned or female. And yet Amani Al'Hiza must call it 'home'. Amani wants to escape and see the world she's heard about in campfire stories. Then a foreigner with no name turns up, and with him she has the chance to run. But the desert plains are full of dangerous magic. The Sultan's army is on the rise and Amani is soon caught at the heart of a fearless rebellion... An epic story of swirling desert sands, love, magic and revolution.
Rebel in the Sands was exactly the sort of book I needed in my life, its fast pace and vibrant characters reminded me of why I loved reading so much in the first place. To be honest at first I wasn’t sure Rebel of the Sands would be my sort of book, but within the first few pages I found myself sucked into Amani’s world and backing her to find a better life for herself. In the short time she was around her family it was clear and easy to see that she could do so much better than them and that she was destined to better and bigger things. So when a stranger offers Amani the opportunity, there’s no looking back.
Amani was exactly the sort of MC I like, she had a rough upbringing but she still believed that she could get out and achieve better things. I loved the journey that we got to experience with her, her character arc was brilliant, her fierceness and resilience continually came through and I just wanted her to finally get her happy ending. I enjoyed the characters that Amani got to meet along the way, they not only made the story come alive even more but they were characters that you couldn’t but help fall for, Jin was in particular one of my favourites. Despite being a formidable looking guy with tattoos (even I would have a hard time resisting him) he was charming and funny and could quickly bring a smile to your face with his quick wittedness. But most of all I appreciated the relationship that Hamilton developed between Jin and Amani, the slow burn romance was tantalising to watch play out, I liked how we got to see a different side of Jin because of it, his concern for Amani just made me fall for him even more, but the wait for the make out scenes were so worth it *fans self*. I hope we get a lot more of these in the rest of the series.
I honestly thought I knew the way things would play out for Amani, she would finally find a family and love that she had been missing out on for so long with her aunt. But the path that Jin and Amani found themselves on was so unexpected, but I loved the twists and turns that we got to experience along the way. Hamilton also gave us such a diverse set of characters that I really didn’t want to let these characters go after I finished the last page. There’s still so much to discover with these characters and they have so much more to offer that I can’t wait to see which journey they take us on next.